[107:1] Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,

for his steadfast love endures forever!

[2] Let the redeemed of the LORD say so,

whom he has redeemed from trouble

[3] and gathered in from the lands,

from the east and from the west,

from the north and from the south.

[4] Some wandered in desert wastes,

finding no way to a city to dwell in;

[5] hungry and thirsty,

their soul fainted within them.

[6] Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,

and he delivered them from their distress.

[7] He led them by a straight way

till they reached a city to dwell in.

[8] Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love,

for his wondrous works to the children of man!

[9] For he satisfies the longing soul,

and the hungry soul he fills with good things.

He satisfies the longing soul.

What a comment. How the souls of men do long. They long for companionship. They long for significance. They long to be home, to be welcome, to be loved. One could summarize human existence as longing souls seeking satisfaction. And God is the satisfier of the longing soul. The problem is, not every one thinks that God is the One who can satisfy the soul that longs. So substitutes are chased after. Power, influence, money, sex. There is no end to the things that men will chase after to satisfy their souls. And like an addictive substance the more the longing is not satisfied, the more that bigger and bigger doses of it are chased after. And also like a drug, the more one chases after it the less likely a person is to see the entrapment of it and the lack of satisfaction it will bring. The things we chase after, no matter how they fail to satisfy, just keep appearing more and more desirable. The truth of this reality is suppressed (Romans 1:18) and what kills them is what they chase after the wrong things all the more voraciously.

An intervention is needed and that is what God has called the church to do – intervene in the lives of people who will give it audience and try to help them find that which really satisfies the longing soul. And so we try to give the Gospel to those who are hurting themselves, denying reality, running away from God and shaking their fists in the face of Him who is Holy. It is a great tragedy and anyone who tries to witness the Gospel with any sort of consistency will experience the frustration that dealing with addicts brings.

But every now and then, someone gets it and all the times that we tried and failed become worth it. When someone leaves off chasing after the unsatisfactory and embraces the Gospel and the God for whom we were made, all the effort becomes more than worth it. This is the reward of Gospel work – not some crown that awaits in the distant future, but the sense that one has been used by God to bring back a wandering child and helped him find that God satisfies the longing soul. Thank you Lord for allowing us to be part of this great work. Bring more to be satisfied through the work we do in obedience to your call, we pray.